A Bookollective interview about That Summer in Puglia

‘Today I’m delighted to be celebrating That Summer in Puglia…’

Thank you, Linda, for hosting me on your fabulous blog for today’s stop on the blog tour of That Summer in Puglia!


Linda's Book Bag

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I’m a hopeless romantic and I love to travel so I’m thrilled to have That Summer in Puglia by Valeria Vescina on my TBR as I have a feeling it’s going to appeal to both aspects very effectively! Today I’m delighted to be celebrating That Summer in Puglia. by bringing you an interview with Valeria conducted by those lovely folk at Bookollective.

That Summer in Puglia is available for purchase directly from the publisher, Eyewear Books here and on Amazon.

That Summer in Puglia


Tommaso has escaped discovery for thirty years but a young private investigator, Will, has tracked him down. Tommaso asks him to pretend never to have found him. To persuade Will, Tommaso recounts the story of his life and his great love. In the process, he comes to recognise his true role in the events which unfolded, and the legacy of unresolved grief. Now he’s…

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Authors on Location: interviewed by The Book Trail

Book Trail Authors on Location (1)

I was interviewed by Susan Heads about That Summer in Puglia, for the Authors on Location section of The Book Trail. Susan’s questions were thought-provoking:

  • What made you want to write this story?
  • Why did you decide to place the action where you did?
  • How do you research a novel such as this?
  • Why is the story important – its message?
  • The story of young love is difficult – a kind of modern-day Romeo and Juliet. Which stories of young love like this have you seen?
  • Who would play your characters in a movie of the book?
  • Something you found surprising whilst researching the novel?
  • Can you tell us more about Puglia and your own experiences of it?

What you see on my blog post are just a couple of excerpts. You can find the full text of the interview by clicking here.

Book Trail Authors on Location (2)

Susan Heads’ enthusiastic review of the novel is here, where you’ll find also an online guide The Book Trail has begun creating to the real-life places in That Summer in Puglia.


Excerpts courtesy of The Book Trail.


Review of That Summer in Puglia on Novel Deelights

“With beautiful descriptions and well-developed rich characters, Valeria Vescina takes us on a moving journey through Tommaso’s life. That Summer in Puglia is a brilliantly written, poignant, thought-provoking character-driven story about young love, loss, grief, family and second chances. An absolutely wonderful debut.”

Thank you, Eva Merckx, for your amazing review of That Summer in Puglia!

Novel Deelights

It is my pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for That Summer in Puglia by Valeria Vescina! My thanks to the publisher for my review copy and to Aimee at Bookollective for the invitation to join the tour!


Author : Valeria Vescina
Title : That Summer in Puglia
Pages : 303
Publisher : Eyewear Publishing
Publication date : March 12, 2018


Tommaso has escaped discovery for thirty years but a young private investigator, Will, has tracked him down. Tommaso asks him to pretend never to have found him. To persuade Will, Tommaso recounts the story of his life and his great love. In the process, he comes to recognise his true role in the events which unfolded, and the legacy of unresolved grief. Now he’s being presented with a second chance – but is he ready to pay the price it exacts?


Thirty years…

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Video: review of That Summer in Puglia

Claire Lyons' blog picture

Today I had the wonderful surprise of a review of That Summer in Puglia by video. It comes from the fabulous literary blogger Claire Lyons and you can watch it on her website, Mrs. Average Evaluates, by clicking here.

Some excerpts from the video-review of the novel:

“So carefully written and incredibly evocative.”

“A very passionate book.”

“Shakespearean mix-ups and misunderstandings and lack of communication…”

“…and it’s about youth, and about parenting, and about loss… It’s a super book.”

“I’d love you to read this. It’s a beautiful, beautiful book.”

I’m grateful to Claire Lyons for her warm, powerful words.


Image credit:

Image courtesy of https://www.mrsaverageevaluates.co.uk/


Blog Tour and Review of That Summer in Puglia

A beautiful review of That Summer in Puglia. My thanks to reviewer Ann Marie of NYC-based Lit Wit Wine Dine for communicating with such clarity and warmth her perceptive reading of the novel.

Below are images of short extracts of the review. I encourage you to click here to access the full article on this excellent literary blog site.


Picture of Liwitwinedine extract 1

Picture of Liwitwinedine extract

And here is another invitation to read the full review on the Lit Wit Wine Dine blog.  

LitWitWineDine instagram post

Image credits:

Images courtesy of https://litwitwinedine.com/


Riveting literature from the Baltics

The Baltics Riveter

In April, the European Literature Network published The Baltics Riveter, a compendium of writing about contemporary fiction from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Publication coincided with this year’s country focus on the Baltics at London Book Fair, where the magazine was widely distributed and enthusiastically received. It contains historical notes, reviews and extracts of some very exciting literature.

The Baltics Riveter is now available also in digital form here. This is the fourth of the European Literature Network’s Riveters. The first was devoted to literature from Poland, on the occasion of the 2017 London Book Fair’s Polish focus. The second, on literature from Russia, coincided with ELNet’s Russian events at the British Library. In The Nordic Riveter of October 2017, five countries were represented: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland.

Review of Burning Cities


I normally review English-language editions of novels originally written in Italian, German and French, the languages and cultures I grew up with. But the editor of The Riveter asked whether I might review Estonian author Kai Aareleid’s Burning Cities, translated by Adam Cullen (Peter Owen Publishers, 2018). I’m very grateful for the suggestion: the novel weaves a powerful domestic tale within the larger tapestry of seven decades of Estonian history; most of the story unfolds in the years during which the country was part of the Soviet Union. You can find my article on pp. 58 and 59 of the magazine, or here. I hope it will encourage you to discover Kai Aareleid’s work and more of the riveting literature from the region.

Image credits:

Images courtesy of The European Literature Network.


Launch of ‘That Summer in Puglia’ at the Italian Cultural Institute, London

Valeria and Rosie
Valeria and Rosie

A presentation of That Summer in Puglia took place on 16 April in the elegant surroundings of the Italian Cultural Institute in Belgrave Square. The Institute is a governmental organisation dedicated to promoting knowledge of Italy’s language and culture and to encouraging cultural and scientific collaboration with England and Wales.

My interviewer was Rosie Goldsmith, the acclaimed journalist, presenter, literary critic, Chair of the EBRD Prize, and much more! I’m so grateful to Rosie for her perceptive, engaged and knowledgeable questions.

Our discussion was introduced by Marco Delogu, Director of the Institute, under whose stewardship the organisation has hosted an exciting line-up of events across the arts and sciences. Check out the Institute’s rich schedule of forthcoming and past events here. Guests on the Literature side of the programme have included Roberto Calasso, Sandro Veronesi, Domenico Starnone, Ali Smith, Elif Shafak, Ben Okri, Jhumpa Lahiri… to name but a few.

Todd Swift, Director of Eyewear Publishing, spoke briefly about That Summer in Puglia before leaving Rosie and me to discuss the book in detail. Our conversation touched on plot, characters, setting, themes and structure, but also on aspects of various literary traditions (English, yes, but also Italian, German and French) which have flowed into it because of my personal history.

Marco Delogu introducing Valeria and Rosie
Marco Delogu’s introduction
Todd Swift introducing Valeria and Rosie
Todd Swift’s introduction

Many of the questions from the public were focused on the cross-cultural aspects of the novel and on the writing process: why had Puglia inspired me? Why is it an ideal setting for this particular story? Where does my detailed knowledge of Ostuni stem from? Which language do I consider to be my “mother tongue” and why? Having grown up in various countries, what are my views on cultural identity? How long did it take me to develop the plot, and how did I go about it?

Meeting people after the talk was a real joy. It was lovely to discover the variety of emotional resonances the book has for different people. I had been prepared for the fact that each reader will respond to certain aspects of a story more than to others, but I hadn’t expected how warmly people would share profound reflections and anecdotes from their lives. I’m very grateful to them.

Valeria signing books
Signing books
Books display by The Italian Bookshop
Book display at the Institute by The Italian Bookshop

Image credits:

The photos ‘Valeria and Rosie’, ‘Signing books’ and ‘Book display at the Institute by The Italian Bookshop’ are courtesy of Rosie Goldsmith, and reproduced with kind permission.

Rights to the photos ‘Marco Delogu’s introduction’ and ‘Todd Swift’s introduction’ are my own.